Elon Musk opened up on Twitter about his education and backstory after some Twitter users claimed that his father owned an “emerald mine” in South Africa to fund his luxurious upbringing and education. Musk tweeted rebuttals to these claims talking about years of living in debt when he left South Africa for Canada as her 17-year-old boy ending up with 6 figures in student loan debts.
“This is a pretty awful lie,” “He didn’t own an emerald mine & I worked my way through college, ending up ~$100k in student debt. I couldn’t even afford a 2nd PC at Zip2, so programmed at night & website only worked during the day. Where is this bs coming from?” Musk tweeted on Dec 28th.
“I left South Africa by myself when I was 17 with just a backpack & suitcase of books. Worked on my Mom’s cousin’s farm in Saskatchewan & a lumber mill in Vancouver. Went to Queens Univ with scholarship & debt, then same to UPenn/Wharton & Stanford.”
Musk was soon joined by his mother Maye Musk and siblings Kimbal and Tosca. Musk’s mother was a Canadian citizen and passed on her citizenship to her kids. Maye married Musk’s father, Errol when she was 22. They divorced 9 years later. Musk and Kimbal opted to live with their father but have had a complicated relationship with him.
Musk started Zip2 in 1997 after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania. He sold the company to Compaq for $307m and made $22m from the sale. He then used that money to start X.com which morphed into PayPal.